May the 4th Be With You – How “Star Wars” Stimulates Children’s Imaginative Play

Many thanks to Hasbro, who sent my family and me these great toys & games to share our experience with you.

THM-StarWars-Hasbro-MovieOpeningWell, actually it was 1977, and it was in a movie theater in suburban New Jersey, but I digress…

I was five years old the first time I saw “Star Wars.” Honestly, I remember being a little scared, not sure what I was going to see, but the moment those words appeared on the big screen my love affair with “Star Wars” began.

It was like no other movie I had ever seen, animated or live action. It captured my imagination – exploring new worlds via crazy looking spacecrafts, robots with personalities, future technology and of course all those different creatures.
The storyline was also easy for me to understand – it was a classic battle of good vs. evil.

No matter what hi-tech and sophisticated weaponry the Evil Empire came at the underdog Rebels with — the Death Star, Imperial Star Destroyers, AT-AT Walkers or TIE Fighters, the rag-tag band of good guys always came out winning!

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How An 8 Year Old Unwinds, Playing Video Games #YOKAIWATCH Review & Giveaway

This post was sponsored by Nintendo as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.  I received complimentary products to facilitate my review.


How do you like to unwind after a long, tough day?

I’ve got friends who listen to music, knit, write in a journal, get a mani/pedi, go to the gym or even cook.   Personally, I like to fold laundry (it’s calming, try it!) or curl up in bed and catch up on some of my favorite TV programs.

My eight-year-old son, after a long day of school, activities/sports and third-grade math homework, likes to unwind by playing video games.

You can often find him sitting intently in our living room playing various games on his Nintendo 3DS XL hand-held game system.

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Let The Wookie Win – The Force is Strong with 3 New Hasbro #StarWars Themed Games #HasbroGaming #IC [ad]


I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Hasbro. I received product samples to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for my participation. #HasbroGaming #StarWars #IC ad

Today The Hubs aka Tyler is filling in with a post about his childhood Star Wars memories and some new games from Hasbro tied to The Force Awakens which comes out next month.  Take it away Tyler…..


There’s a new Star Wars movie coming out…

Star-Wars-Force-AwakensHave you heard?

Hello? How could anyone NOT know at this point! It has to be the most anticipated movie release EVER. My own kidlets certainly are buzzed about seeing it – our tickets are already in hand. We’re going with our extended family (Nana, aunt & uncle) the day after Christmas and even seeing it in IMAX 3D!

Until then, it’s going to be a LONG 6 weeks in our house!

I remember back when the first movie came out in 1977 — Episode 4, although it wasn’t called that back then — and it was playing four times a day at the movie theater in my hometown in Colorado. My friend Kevin and I would spend all weekend at the theater watching it, racking up views in a kind of strange childhood competition. I think we must have seen Star Wars over 100 times by the end of its first run!

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Blasting Off With NASA At Kennedy Space Center #AlwaysExploring

THM-NASA-AlwaysExploringWhen I would tell friends that we were going on a family vacation to Orlando, they’d automatically ask me “Disney or Universal?”

Now while a resort park was on our agenda (we did Disney!), we also  tacked on a few days at the start of our trip to do a little exploring of Florida’s Atlantic coastline.

We wound up spending two nights in Cocoa Beach, famous as the setting for the 1960s sitcom I Dream of Jeannie – but much to the disappointment of my pop culture heart, there is no actual home of Major Nelson to go see!  Anyway, Cocoa Beach has lovely beaches and lots of great fishing, and it was also the perfect location for us to go and check out NASA over at Kennedy Space Center.

What person – child or adult – hasn’t been fascinated by astronauts, rockets and space?

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Learning From The Hand That Feeds You – A Cooking Lesson For My Son Courtesy of “Dad’s Book of Awesome Recipes”

THM-Dads-Book-of-Awesome-Recipes-CookbookToday’s post comes courtesy of The Hubs aka Tyler.  It has been a while since he’s done a review, so when a copy of Dad’s Book of Awesome Recipes by Mike Adamick arrived on our doorstep, I knew this would be perfect for him – I mean, he is a dad and likes to cook….

So take it away Tyler….


As a dad with nearly 8 years under my belt, I’ve found that kids are really good doing at least one thing….eating!

Not everything put on their plate, mind you, but their favorites — usually anything involving cheese, peanut butter, or some type of breaded chicken object shaped like a dinosaur, Minion or something similar. My kids love breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, although my son is not to partial to any kind of vegetables. His sister, on the other hand, is game to try anything, at least once.  She even tried daddy’s special hot sauce-infused potato chips. Don’t say I didn’t warn you, kiddo!

Since I think a lot about food, and they think a lot about food, I thought it would probably be a good idea that I move them away from this abstract notion that things to eat magically appear.

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Lost In Laundry? Tide PODS Is #LaundryRedefined


THM-Tide-Pods-LaundryRedefined-washerLaundry. It’s a simple fact of life that it is ALWAYS there. In my household there is approximately one nanosecond between the time I finish doing all the laundry for the week and either one of the kidlets or The Hubs throwing a piece of clothing into the hamper to be cleaned. It’s a never-ending cycle of wear, wash, dry, fold and iron (as little as possible!).

But I’m going to share with you my dirty little secret….laundry is my favorite household chore. I know, I can hear the gasps of horror from moms nationwide as they read this!

Aside from loving the scent of freshly cleaned laundry, my best guess is that I enjoy the routine of the laundry process.  The sorting and folding has a calming and focusing effect on me. I find that I come up with some of my best ideas and solutions to problems when I’m doing the laundry. Hey, it’s definitely cheaper than going to therapy!

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Kid Lit: Reduce, Reuse & Recycle Edition

This month’s Kid Lit column is all about books that teach children the importance of taking care of the environment and learning how their actions directly impact the planet.  These are books that teach kids the basics about the 3 Rs – reduce, reuse and recycle.

THM-Kid-Lit-Recycle-Mickey-Friends-Go-Green-Family-Guide-Sustainable-LifestyleDisney Go Green: A Family Guide to a Sustainable Lifestyle
From Edda USA

Join Mickey and friends in living greener!  This book explains how to create a more sustainable lifestyle in a simple, understandable way by exploring how to reduce, reuse and recycle – and discussing our ecological footprint.  It includes interesting facts and great tips and even features fun activities for families to try at home.

The craft activities show children how to be artistic using items found in nature or by reusing items, to reduce the impact on the planet.  For example, instead of going to the store to buy paint, you can make your own watercolors by boiling plants, vegetable skins and nuts in water to release their natural dyes.Continue reading ⇒

Good, Clean Fun With Firefly® – Kid’s Ready Go Brush Toothbrush & Mouth Rinse Review


One of my daily struggles with my kidlets is to get them to brush their teeth. To get them to brush their teeth the right way. To get them to brush them long enough. To get them to use mouthwash. I’ve tried just about everything – including trying extreme measures such as ultimatums, bribing with an extra book at bedtime and even taking away some of their precious cartoon/video game time.

THM-Good-Clean-Fun-Firefly-Hello-Kitty-Toothbrush-Mouth-RinseI know how important it is to teach my kidlets the importance of healthy oral care habits. Hurried, insufficient brushing is one of the major causes of early childhood cavities. But lets get real here, my kidlets see brushing their teeth as another tedious chore they have to do – like making their bed, putting their toys away  and clearing their dishes from the table.

I’ve always found that the easiest way to keep my kidlets interested and engaged in doing anything is to make it fun – even like a game.

That’s where Firefly® toothbrushes and mouth rinse comes in. Firefly® understands how important it is for kids to form good habits from an early age and have made their toothbrushes fun to use and encourages kids to brush for a proper amount of time.

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Dial® Kids Foaming Hand Wash And Dial® Baby Body + Hair Wash Review & #Giveaway

Rub-A-Dub-Dub,” my two kids are in the tub.  And do you think they were clean?  No!  They were dirty, stinky and crying because soap kept getting in their eyes and stinging.

So what’s a mom to do in this bathtime nursery rhyme scenario? The answer is simple — find a soap/shampoo that is gentle, hypoallergenic, has no added parabens, no artificial dyes and is pH balanced.

That might sound like it THM-Dial-Kids-Foam-Wash-Baby-Body-Hairmight be a tall order to fill, but Dial® has a few new products that fit the bill perfectly.  Dial has been a trusted personal care brand for 67 years, and is now making it’s entry into the world of baby/child personal care products.

Dial® Baby Body + Hair Wash was developed with pediatric dermatologists and is gentle enough to even use on newborns.  It gently removes dirt and gets rid of germs so your little one is squeaky clean from head to toe.  Now while Dial Baby Body + Hair Wash is said to be for children aged 0-2, I think it works great for my five and seven year old kidlets.  Most soaps tend to dry out their skin, but this soap/shampoo keeps it nice and soft.  It’s fragrance free and I think the best part is that it doesn’t sting when soap accidentally gets into my kidlets eyes.

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Lovable Labels The Ultimate Camp Pack #Giveaway

THM-Lovable-Labels-Ultimate-Camp-Pack-Kids-CanoeMy son’s been going to summer day camp for the past few years and it’s something he looks forward to. I mean, who can blame him, he’s not in school and his days are filled with carefree fun!

Every night during the months of July and August he comes home and excitedly tells us all about his adventures in swimming, sports, cookouts, woodworking, ceramics, photography and go carts. His little sister is always a captive audience. She listens intently, with wide eyes and then sadly laments, “I wish I was old enough for camp!”

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